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Painted metal figurine of a horned Jewish man with hooves riding a pig

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.206

Bronze figurine of a Jewish man reading a prayer book on the back of a pig, made in Austria during the 19th century. The figurine may be a Vienna bronze, a type of sculpture made in a Viennese handcraft tradition that incorporates artistic finishes. The style began in Austria in approximately 1850. The man has several stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men: a large, hooked nose, bushy eyebrows, thick lips, sidelocks, and a beard. He also has horns, a stereotypical antisemitic physical feature, originally deriving from a mistranslation of the story of Moses in the Hebrew Bible. Horns have since been used to show Jew’s supposed evil nature and associate them with the devil. Lastly, the man has cloven hooves, similar to the pig he is on, and also reminiscent of how the devil and demons are depicted. Pigs are deemed “unclean” in the Book of Leviticus, and are well-known as a non-kosher animal, meaning they are not fit for consumption by Jews. Knowing of this prohibition, antisemites weaponized pigs for use against Jews. Pork products have been thrown into or at synagogues, and force-fed to Jews on pain of death. Jews have been called the descendants of apes and pigs and accused of associating with and worshiping pigs. The depiction of Jews with pig-like features or in close and often indecent contact with pigs is also a common antisemitic image. The figurine is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Date
manufacture:  approximately 1800-1899
Geography
creation: Austria
Classification
Decorative Arts
Category
Metalwork
Genre/Form
Metalwork.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
 
Record last modified: 2021-04-08 14:28:08
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn538367